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Honey Lime Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls with Chipotle Lime Crema

These Chicken Fajita Bowls are better than any restaurant and the marinade does practically all the work! They are bursting with honey lime chipotle chicken on a bed of Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans all topped with creamy Chipotle Sour Cream.  Its a flavor, texture bomb in every can't-stop-eating bite!  
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 -8 bowls


Chicken Marinade

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts pounded thin (3-4 chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic,finely minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (2 for spicier)
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, ground cumin, smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Fajita Vegetables

  • Reserved marinade
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 red onion, diced **OR QUARTERED if grilling**
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced then cut into thirds **OR QUARTERED if grilling*
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced then cut into thirds **OR QUARTERED if grilling*
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (fresh canned or frozen-thawed) **OR 1 EAR CORN, shucked if grilling**

Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long grained rice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz. can black beans,, drained and rinsed
  • 1 dash salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice

Chipotle Lime Sour Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (start with 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne (optional)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped


  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese


  • Marinade: Place chicken in a large freezer bag and pound thin with meat mallet (or with the side of a large can or rolling pin). Mix marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and add half of the marinade to the chicken in the freezer bag, place in refrigerator. To the remaining marinade, whisk in 1/3 cup honey. Add this marinade to another freezer bag and add fajita vegetables (including corn). Marinate chicken and vegetables separately 6-10 hours.
  • Rice: When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add red onion and saute 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cumin and saute 30 more seconds (adding more oil beforehand if necessary). Add rice and saute for a few seconds. Add beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring at 15 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  • Chipotle Lime Crema: While the rice is cooking, prepare Chipotle Lime Crema by mixing together the sour cream, lime juice, salt, cilantro and just 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, adding more to taste. After adding desired chipotle powder, add cayenne if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
  • Chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once skillet is very hot, remove chicken from freezer bag, discard marinade and add to skillet. Cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-8 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 3-5 minutes before slicing.
  • Fajita Vegetables: While chicken is resting, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet chicken was cooked in and heat over medium heat. Discard marinade from fajita vegetables and add to skillet. Cooked just until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  • Assembly: In bowls, layer rice, cheese, fajita vegetables, and chicken. Top with Chipotle Lime Crema.
  • Chicken: Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting). Meanwhile, grease and preheat grill to medium heat, 375-450°F. Discard marinade from chicken and grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 165 degrees F.) Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Fajita Vegetables
  • Discard marinade from fajita vegetables. Lightly coat bell peppers and onions with olive oil. String onions onto a skewer (let skewer soak 30 minutes if wooden), and grill both onions and peppers at medium high heat until slightly tender and lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes for the onions, 6 minutes for the bell peppers, flipping occasionally while cooking. Once cool enough to handle, slice into strips.
  • Meanwhile, brush corn with olive oil and wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Grill for approximately 15 minutes or to desired tenderness - does not need to be cooked through - rotating occasionally. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels from ear of corn.
  • Assembly: In bowls, layer rice, cheese, fajita vegetables, and chicken. Top with Chipotle Lime Crema.



  • Cast Iron Skillet:  A cast iron skillet will give your fajita chicken and vegetables the best sear.  If you don’t own a cast iron skillet, make sure your pan is sizzling hot before you add your chicken.
  • Liquid Smoke:  Liquid smoke adds a wonderful smoky flavor to the chicken as if it has been grilled on an outdoor barbecue over a hot flame.  Liquid Smoke can be found next next to the barbecue sauces at your grocery store.
  • Chipotle Chili Powder:  This spice is ground up dried chipotles and can be found in any grocery store along with the rest of the seasonings.  It is sometimes called chipotle chili pepper or chipotle chile powder.
  • Bell peppers.  You can use whatever combo of peppers you like.  You can even add more peppers if you prefer.
  • Pineapple.   Try adding pineapple to you fajita bowls  –  it adds a delightful, juicy freshness.
  • Rice Cooker.  You can cook the Cilantro Lime Rice and black beans in your rice cooker and adjust liquid according to your manufactures directions.  Make sure you add thte rice then the correct amount of liquid and then the black beans otherwise the volume of the black beans will throw off the liquid measurement.  Substitute the red onion for 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and the garlic for 1 teaspoon garlic powder.  Add the cilantro and lime juice once the rice is finished cooking.
  • Cheese.  Feel free to add either Mexican, sharp or Monterrey cheese to your Chicken Fajita Bowls.  I would add the cheese after the right but before the chicken so it is sandwiched in between the hot layers and melt without needing to be microwaved.
  • Spice it up or down.  If you know you don't like heat then only use 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and omit the cayenne pepper.  It it is easy to add spice later with hot sauce but it is hard to tone it done!
  • Yogurt Substitute.  You can substitute yogurt for the sour cream in the Chipotle Crema and start with less lime juice to taste because yogurt is inherently tangier than sour cream.

HOW TO store and REHEAT 

  • Storage: Chicken Fajita Bowls should be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Microwave:  transfer to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 60 seconds then at 20 second intervals as needed.
  • Skillet: warm in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, stirring often until warmed through.